In 1915, the Tucson Citizen reported that local developer John Murphey had purchased several thousand acres of property in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains to the north of town. The editors of the newspaper projected the purchase as “folly”, an investment in worthless desert hillsides, never to be recovered.
For John Murphey, it took just over a decade to prove his detractors wrong. By the end of the 1920s, homes were being built in the Catalina Foothills neighborhoods, and the distinctive Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival-style buildings in the area began to take form.
A short distance east of Campbell Avenue a building was built in 1926, possibly the first restaurant/cafe/tavern east of Oracle Road. The El Corral you dine in tonight is located in the same building (with some modifications of course).
In 1939, the owner of El Corral Cafe, Leroy C. Perkins, subdivided a quarter section of land into Los Ranches Perkins. The first dwellings built were used as guest cottages for a seasonal ranch. In 1946, the business name was changed to El Corral Night Club, owned first by E.H. Bruening. The “Nightclub” name continued through the 1950s.
Agro Land and Cattle Co., Inc. had the great honor of taking over stewardship of the restaurant in 1975 and has continued the proud traditions started so long ago. El Corral has had the pleasure of serving Tucson and its guests the best prime rib in Arizona and appreciates all the support through the years. We hope to see you soon!